Aqueduct | Race 2 | Post Time 1:55 p.m. (ET)
The horse to beat is obviously Picture Day (#6). This mare had really come to hand for Linda Rice toward the end of the Aqueduct winter meet in 2017, reeling off three straight victories. Sent to the sidelines soon thereafter, she returned from a nine-month break last time and essentially picked up where she had left off. Picture Day was no match for the winner, Short Kakes, but was clearly second-best while running one of the fastest speed figures of her career. She merits respect, but she’s going to be a much shorter price this time, and I believe others will offer better value.
One to consider is Pray for Bourbon (#2), who was hindered by a three-wide trip against a golden rail in her prior performance Jan. 26. While I believe she has every right to rebound from that effort, I’m a little concerned that her prior dirt form is inferior to that of the favorite. Even her best dirt effort on Dec. 15 may not be good enough here. She’s one I have to use at a price, but I prefer the runner just to her outside as my top selection.
BOW TOWN CAT (#3) is one of the few horses in this race who has matched and surpassed Picture Day’s top speed figures. The problem is that she can be somewhat inconsistent. Yet whenever Bow Town Cat is able to secure the early lead, she can be very dangerous, and that figures to be the case here. The Pace Projector is predicting a situation that favors the early front-runner, and she is simply faster than her rivals. Furthermore, any moisture left in the surface following Friday’s rain should not hinder her since she’s run well in most of her wet-track starts.
Exacta Key Box: 3 with 2,4,6
Trifecta: 3 with 2,6 with ALL